Have you ever had a flat tire? You would agree that it can be annoying. Sometimes, it could ruin your whole day, especially if you were going somewhere important when it happened.
However, you don’t have to worry anymore because a simple tire repair could fix it. You can either plug or patch your car tire or try out other options.
Now, the question is: how many times can a tire be patched?
It should never be done more than once and this article explains why.
How many tire patches are too many?
If you have your tire’s sidewall areas punctured, you should only consider patching it once. If you do more than that, you risk getting into an accident.
Can a tire be patched twice?
No, it shouldn’t.
A tire should never be patched twice because it is dangerous.
Ideally, patched tires are only a temporary fix until you get a permanent solution.
If you patch twice, it can negatively affect your tire’s speed ratings and ultimately cause a serious blowout.
Is it safe to drive on a patched tire?
Yes, it is.
Patching a tire won’t be an option if it wasn’t safe for car owners.
You can safely drive with a patched tire until you can have it repaired properly.
However, you should make sure not to go beyond the speed limits or necessary requirements (specific repair limits) laid out by the tire manufacturer.
More so, you should never patch more than once.
Can you patch an already patched tire?
No, you shouldn’t if you already have a previous puncture.
If a previously repaired area encounters issues again, i.e., puncture overlaps, you shouldn’t patch the area again. At this point, you should consider getting new tires.
If the repairs overlap, it poses a threat to you, as a driver.
How many times can you use fix a flat on the same tire?
A fix-a-flat cannot be used for all four tires – it can only be dispensed once.
If you use one can of this temporary tire repair substance on all four tires, you might just have improper repair, affecting your speed rating and causing severe damage to your wheels.
How long can you drive on a patched tire?
The answer depends on the puncture size and tire type.
There are some tires that cannot be repaired with a plug and patch mechanism, but those that can, can last up to ten years.
However, you need to check the manufacturer’s repair policy first before going ahead with the procedure. You might find out that some tyre companies prohibit repairs.
How to know you need a tire repair?
Before you conclude that you need to repair a tire, you must have noticed certain things. They include:
One of the first signs you see that definitely tells you that you need a tire repair is a flat tire.
If you do not have a run-flat tire, it may be impossible to move any further. You become stuck in that location until you replace the flat tires or try something else. You can use emergency inflators, fix-a-flat, tire plugs, or tire patches.
Low Tire Tread
A tire’s tread area is another indicator of whether you need tire repairs or not.
The tread is a significant feature that helps the tire withstand impact on contact with the ground, and the quality and size play a role in how effective it would be.
For tires with a low tread area, you may have poor traction and grip, making it almost impossible to move.
And the only thing that explains a low tread area is a damaged tire.
If you start experiencing treadwear on one side of a tire – let’s say on only one tire, you should just consider repairing or getting a replacement.
If the tread wear is on the center trip, that means overinflation but if it is on the side, it means underinflation.
If you drive cars a lot, you can easily tell if there is something wrong with it or not.
Ideally, you will experience vibrations when driving, especially when on rough roads. However, you might get another level of tire vibration – something different from the usual.
You need a proper repair when you notice this change.
Tire Warning Light
Finally, a perfect indicator that you need a tire repair is the low tire pressure warning system.
Some cars are built to have this tire air pressure feature in them so that owners can get a temporary or permanent solution to their problems.
How to patch a punctured tire? A step-by-step guide
There are different ways to repair tires – you can either use a tire patch or a tire plug. Regardless of what you use, tire experts predict that a proper plug or patch can last from seven to ten years.
If you will be going for the patched tire option to repair puncture repairs, here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.
Find the Leak
The first thing you need to do before applying a tire patch is to find the leak. You need to know the site of impact, so you can work on it.
A simple way to find the leak is by pouring soapy water over the tire and waiting for some seconds to find bubbles. The site where you find bubbles indicates a leak.
Remove the Tire
Now that you’ve found the leak, the next part of puncture repairs is removal. Unlike plugging, you have to remove the tire so you can effectively patch the puncture.
Start with tread separation – remove bolts and nuts, and then remove tire and rim. As soon as your tire is separated from the rim, you can now work on it – find the leak(s).
There could be two punctures or more.
Apply Vulcanizing Cement and Tire Patch
At this point, you should use a die grinder to smoothen the punctured area and spray compressed air to remove debris and dirt.
After doing this, apply vulcanizing cement to the area. This cement would prevent water from flowing into the hole.
Next, apply the tire patch to the punctured tire from the inside and roll.
With a rubber patch sealant, seal the patch to the tire. Wait for a few minutes.
Reinstall the Tire
As soon as your patch is fixed to the tire, you can reinstall the different components disassembled and reinstall your tire to your vehicle.
Once you have your patched tire attached to your car, you can start driving again.
Regarding the question: “how many times can a tire be patched?” The only chance you get is once. Anything more than that endangers your safety.
There is a reason why certain things are done or avoided.
Patching your tires when they get punctured is good and safe but that is only when you’ve done the repair once.
As long as you have them properly repaired by yourself or in an auto shop, you can continue your road journey safely.
P.S: If you experience flat tires a lot, you should consider replacing them with a better brand.